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12-24-2009, 10:47 AM   #1
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How to start? Just got my KX...

Hi guys,

I just bought a KX and started to enjoy my so-called photography...however, I am just wondering how I should start? I have read three books about photography, especially the ones written by Micheal Freeman.

I want to shoot the architecture and street (sth. like photojournalism) with a 18-55 lens. maybe I should first to shoot white and black so that i can learn composition?

any suggestions would be highly appreciated, really....

12-24-2009, 11:05 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by ITech Quote
any suggestions would be highly appreciated, really....
Most photo classes have projects where they focus on one subject or shooting style and study that until next week. You could go that route, or you can do like I do, take pictures of everything and delete the ones you don't like.
12-24-2009, 11:25 AM   #3
Ash
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Welcome to the forum.
There are so many ways and methods you could approach learning photography.
Best to follow the method you can commit to.

Weekly projects are great and some websites and online courses offer this. Or you can begin with learning more about composition, perspective and framing techniques from other articles like:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photography-articles/23232-learning-basic...echniques.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photography-articles/39743-understanding-...-kit-lens.html (and Brian Peterson's book "Understanding Exposure" is excellent for learning how to master the exposure triad)
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photography-articles/59615-tutorial-cropp...le-thirds.html

Merry Christmas and enjoy your journey.
12-24-2009, 12:22 PM   #4
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I'd also suggest a through reading (or re-reading) of your manual. Try each of the functions on the menus and shoot a lot of test shots using its various settings. You may not ever need all of them but if you know that there is that function on the camera, you may some time later remember it and be able to exploit it.

Also, I suggest you learn to shoot in Manual mode first (or very soon). This will help you learn to balance f-stop, shutter speed, and ISO for images. When you have this down, going to other modes will be something you choose to do as the photographer. I'm not saying never use - say green mode - but do it because it will work better for that situation. Similar to this are the scene modes. I almost never use them on my K100ds but sometimes they provide quick answers to situations when I don't want to think about settings. Lastly, learn to shoot and process in raw format.

Keep your eye out for Yvon Bourque's soon to be released book on the K-x. I have his ones for my K10/K20 both of which clearly provide more than the Pentax manual and some pointer to photography. He sells them for peanuts and they are very good.

PENTAX DSLRs

Happy shooting.

12-24-2009, 03:20 PM   #5
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Hi Itech - welcome.

If you can find a good club then you are home and dry. There is simply no substitute for experienced photographers being able to see your work first hand and advise you and critique your pictures. OTOH, a bad club will set you back.

I went to visit our local club but found it to be the canikon owners club with lots of pictures of just one headlamp of a vintage car or strange coloured skies. Suffice to say I did not trouble them again.

Forums (Fora?) like this one have a tremendous amount of knowledge and people will do their best to help, but with all the good will in the world sometimes there is no substitute to having someone knowledgeable next to you.
12-24-2009, 05:24 PM   #6
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Welcome.
In addition to the advice already given. Check out a local camera store (if you have one), they often have workshops covering the basics. They are usually fairly reasonable in cost and will probably be a couple of sessions. Once you have the basics, then you can concentrate on the picture making side of things. Hang out in the critique section of this forum, you will pick up an awful lot from reading critiques but don't forget to critique pictures yourself. Once you can pick apart pictures of others, you will be more abloe to critique yourself.
12-24-2009, 07:03 PM   #7
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Take some time to learn the camera. Try to understand why things worked and why they went wrong. The hobby can be overwhelming if you have to learn the camera, exposure, lighting, composition,etc.,etc., etc. all at the same time. Once you become familiar with the camera and begin to understand some of its limitations , then you can begin to get critical with your own images. The best composition in the world won't make a good photograph if there's motion blur. read some of the books that were mentioned and take classes or participate in workshops. Both will be of value. Have fun. And remember, your photos only need to please you. If they please others or speak to them in some way, it's a bonus.
12-24-2009, 11:28 PM   #8
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Apart from any more practical suggestions:

Begin with play. Pay attention to what the camera is doing. Try to keep your hands off the zoom ring.

12-25-2009, 02:29 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by dragonfly Quote
Most photo classes have projects where they focus on one subject or shooting style and study that until next week. You could go that route, or you can do like I do, take pictures of everything and delete the ones you don't like.
yes, I have almost deleted 200 pictures now...
12-25-2009, 02:31 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Welcome to the forum.
There are so many ways and methods you could approach learning photography.
Best to follow the method you can commit to.

Weekly projects are great and some websites and online courses offer this. Or you can begin with learning more about composition, perspective and framing techniques from other articles like:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photography-articles/23232-learning-basic...echniques.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photography-articles/39743-understanding-...-kit-lens.html (and Brian Peterson's book "Understanding Exposure" is excellent for learning how to master the exposure triad)
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photography-articles/59615-tutorial-cropp...le-thirds.html

Merry Christmas and enjoy your journey.
Many thanks, it seems that i have found the best place
12-25-2009, 02:33 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by blackcloudbrew Quote
I'd also suggest a through reading (or re-reading) of your manual. Try each of the functions on the menus and shoot a lot of test shots using its various settings. You may not ever need all of them but if you know that there is that function on the camera, you may some time later remember it and be able to exploit it.

Also, I suggest you learn to shoot in Manual mode first (or very soon). This will help you learn to balance f-stop, shutter speed, and ISO for images. When you have this down, going to other modes will be something you choose to do as the photographer. I'm not saying never use - say green mode - but do it because it will work better for that situation. Similar to this are the scene modes. I almost never use them on my K100ds but sometimes they provide quick answers to situations when I don't want to think about settings. Lastly, learn to shoot and process in raw format.

Keep your eye out for Yvon Bourque's soon to be released book on the K-x. I have his ones for my K10/K20 both of which clearly provide more than the Pentax manual and some pointer to photography. He sells them for peanuts and they are very good.

PENTAX DSLRs

Happy shooting.
Yes, thanks, i will totally put my focus on the manual these days. BTW, will the ebook be free? hahaha
12-25-2009, 02:37 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Oggy Quote
Hi Itech - welcome.

If you can find a good club then you are home and dry. There is simply no substitute for experienced photographers being able to see your work first hand and advise you and critique your pictures. OTOH, a bad club will set you back.

I went to visit our local club but found it to be the canikon owners club with lots of pictures of just one headlamp of a vintage car or strange coloured skies. Suffice to say I did not trouble them again.

Forums (Fora?) like this one have a tremendous amount of knowledge and people will do their best to help, but with all the good will in the world sometimes there is no substitute to having someone knowledgeable next to you.
QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
Welcome.
In addition to the advice already given. Check out a local camera store (if you have one), they often have workshops covering the basics. They are usually fairly reasonable in cost and will probably be a couple of sessions. Once you have the basics, then you can concentrate on the picture making side of things. Hang out in the critique section of this forum, you will pick up an awful lot from reading critiques but don't forget to critique pictures yourself. Once you can pick apart pictures of others, you will be more abloe to critique yourself.
alright, I think i should hand out my pictures to all of you after three months or even half a year, hope im doing the photography in a reasonable way.
12-25-2009, 02:43 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
Apart from any more practical suggestions:

Try to keep your hands off the zoom ring.
Really nice suggestion, i will definitely try to do that. BTW, i cannot understand the meaning of "EV stops", is there a function like that in film camera?
12-25-2009, 02:41 PM   #14
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Yes. One EV = the change in exposure you get by going up or down one full f-stop (eg, from f/2.8 to f/4) or a halving/doubling of shutter speed.
12-25-2009, 03:48 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by ITech Quote
Really nice suggestion, i will definitely try to do that. BTW, i cannot understand the meaning of "EV stops", is there a function like that in film camera?
Mark's got the latter there for you: it just means 'Exposure value,'

As for zoom rings, the kit lens is sharpest around 30-40mm, and stopped down to around F8 or 11. (It's a very nice kit lens, as these things go) That's a good place to park it for starters, if you want to concentrate on composition.

Every tool can be a teacher, though: one good exercise you can do with that zoom ring is, as you move about, you can quite simply zoom to keep the same objects in the frame, and watch what happens to their relationship to each other, as objects in space.

The macro's also actually pretty nice, and useful for practical needs and some fun, at least. (Not enough to impress true macro photogs, but I'm not really one of those.) Focus will be much fussier and narrower, but you can do a lot of the same things learning about perspective just messing with objects on a table or some such. You can also really see that depth of field does, that way, using your preview.
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